"Did Ye Lose Faith" - Why Dr. B is My Hero!!


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Reply "Did Ye Lose Faith" - Why Dr. B is My Hero!! Posted on: Dec 21, 2011 at 4:39am
I was on birth control for 12 years before my husband and I decide to try for our first baby. In May 2009 I went off the pill and thought I would be pregnant the first month. It didn't happen and I never got my period. I figured I would be regular within time. I went on birth control for the usual reasons when I was 16 and from what I remember my cycle was normal back then. I had acne but I just figured it was a teenage thing...

That first cycle off the pill lasted 3 months until my ob/gyn at the time gave me provera. Next cycle I ovulated on my own on CD32 and it was a negative cycle but I was happy I ovulated and figured my cycle was regulating. Next cycle.. again 60 days with no period or ovulation. Went back to the ob/gyn who did basic bloodwork and said I "may" have PCOS or it could just be leftover from the pill. She gave me clomid, told me to have sex every other day from cycle days 10-20, and sent me on my way without even telling me when to schedule a followup. I filled the prescription although my insurance had no infertility coverage, but after talking to many other woman on a popular message board, I decided I needed to see a specialist who would monitor my clomid cycle and diagnose me.

I called Dr. B’s office and made an appointment for the following week. On the phone I asked the nurses what I should do about the provera and clomid that my ob/gyn had prescribed. She said she would ask the doctor and call me back. No more than five minutes later I got a call from Dr. B himself!! I’ve NEVER in my life had a doctor that responded so fast and so personally, especially for a patient he hadn’t even met yet. I knew from that moment that he was as amazing as everyone had said, and I was excited for my first appointment.

Six months to the day that we start trying to conceive I had my first appointment with Dr. B. It was the day after the Yankees won the 2009 World Series. I sort of expected him to be brash like most doctors, but he was just so kind. Unlike all of the ob/gyn that I had seen, he really listened to every issue I had and took them all seriously. He wasn’t half way out of the room before I could finish my first sentence. He looked at all of my basal temp charting data and reviewed it, instead of just saying to “relax and it will happen” or throw meds at me without further instruction. He gave me what felt like all the time in the world. When he said “I can get you pregnant,” it sounded totally believable but not at all arrogant. Most of all I was really comfortable with him from day one, which is so important when you are dealing with something so intimate and awkward.

A few days later he called to tell me I definitely had PCOS and had very high LH levels. He prescribed dexamethasone and agree to monitor my clomid cycle. I was naïve and I fully expected clomid to be my miracle drug and to get pregnant that cycle. So when I went for monitoring and Dr. B told me that my follies weren’t responding at all to clomid and that we would need to move immediately to injectables, I broke down. It wasn’t so much the lost clomid cycle, but my insurance did not cover anything for infertility, and I knew the injectables that I needed would run thousands of dollars which I did not have. Dr. B told me we could make it work, and when I came back in for my CD3 that next cycle, the office was able to give me all of the meds I needed to get started!! I couldn’t believe that they were able to donate the meds to me, thanks to successful ladies that had donated their unused meds back to him and his office. I was so relieved that I would be able to get the meds I needed!

Although I was on an “entry-level” dose of follistim, that first cycle resulted in hyperstimulation. Dr. B isn’t the type of doctor that wants to be on the news for octoplets and I was in no position to switch to IVF so that cycle was cancelled and I had to do a few weeks of BCP before the next cycle.

That next cycle took me 21 days to stim 2 follies, all to end up in a very low beta chemical pregnancy. I never tested positive except for the beta and I didn’t think much of it at the time, and I took some time off because I started a new job (with infertility benefits!!). I still spoke to Dr. B via email during the time off since I was trying to see if my cycle would regulate itself with metformin, which it didn’t.

The next cycle was a quick stim. A week after Mother’s Day I received my first ever positive home pregnancy test! The beta was 42 and we were thrilled. We were horrified two day later when the beta barely rose. Dr. B told us it didn’t look good but not to lose hope. I miscarried a week later. Throughout the entire ordeal Dr. B was there for moral support. For months after the miscarriage I read Dr. Bs emails over and over again whenever I needed some positive energy.

After the first chemical Dr. B ordered thrombophilia bloodwork, but I had been lazy in getting it done, so it didn’t come back until after I had already miscarried. At that point since I had two chemicals, we also did an immune workup. It came back that I had a blood clotting issue PAI-1 4G/5G polymorphism, elevated NK cells, and my husband and I had a partial HLA-C match. Dr. B said my future cycles would include lovenox, baby aspirin and intralipid therapy.

A month after the miscarriage we were ready to cycle again and Dr. B reworked my entire protocol to include the new meds, and also to better manage my stim and LH levels. With PCOS I always ended up with either no follies, or too many, and he suspected that my high LH was wreaking havoc on my egg quality, so we started a protocol that wasn’t too far off from an IVF protocol. In addition to the cocktail of meds for clotting and immune factors, I was doing a pretty unique protocol of ganirelix throughout the stim (to keep the LH low) while at some points adding in luveris to raise LH only when we needed it. At that point by our own personal choice, my husband and I continued to do timed intercourse and never did any IUIs. I did ask Dr. B if it was time to move to IUIs, and he told me that IUI would increase my chances by about 8%, but it was more important that we do this the way we wanted to, and that it was completely up to us. Despite an incredibly heavy meds protocol, we continued cycling with timed intercourse but did not get another positive test.

Eventually Dr. B said it was time for IVF. He felt with the way I produced eggs, all or nothing, it was just safer to go straight to IVF. He said if we didn’t do it then, chances were good that we’d end up there anyway although again it was completely our decision to make. Since I had a good insurance plan that covered it, we decided to go for it. I wasn’t nervous about the meds because my protocols were pretty much IVF protocols anyway. I was more nervous that it wouldn’t work. We went about the meds course and they were able to retrieve 18 eggs. We were excited and prayed that we’d get good fertilization rates. In Jewish lore, 18 is the number that represents life, and miraculously, all 18 of our eggs were mature and fertilized. We went to a 5 day transfer with 2 perfect blasts and froze another 8. A week later we wanted to wait to get the beta back but my husband and I had very different schedules and since we always tested together, neither of us wanted to know before the other. We decided to test together the night before the beta. We built a little shrine of personal items including our wedding rings and put the test there and left the room for 5 minutes. When it was time to look I was shaking and my husband said we didn’t have to look, we could just wait for the beta. I made him look first and my eyes were so blurry from nerves, all I could see was that I DIDN’T see the word “NOT” on the digital test. I confirmed that what I saw was real, and we were ecstatic that our first IVF cycle appeared successful. I emailed Dr. B at 11pm after I tested. I would love to print out his response and frame it, in typical Dr. B style there was a one line email that said “Did ye lose faith?”

My first two betas were tremendous and I begged Dr. B for a third, fearing another chemical. He refused and told me that if this one turned out chemical, he would quit his job and open a bagel shop!! I told him he could do that anyway with all the free time he would have after I graduated (I emailed….A LOT)!! At 6w1d Dr. B did our first sono and we saw one glorious heartbeat and a smaller sac. The smaller sac never amounted to anything and at 11w pregnant, 13 months after my first appointment and 18 months after our journey began, I graduated from Dr. B to my regular OB as a “regular” pregnant lady.

My pregnancy was pretty easy until I developed pre-eclampsia and was admitted for hospital bedrest at 32w. The baby was measuring 2 weeks behind and was growth restricted and my amniotic fluid was low. A few days later I developed HELLP syndrome and had to deliver at 33w1d. Although I was under the care of my OB and the hospital doctors, I emailed Dr. B a lot throughout the very traumatic birth of my daughter. He would respond to me within a few minutes, even though I hadn’t been his patient for over five months. Despite a birth story that’s longer than this entire infertility story, on May 14th, 2011 the baby we worked so hard to get couldn’t wait another day to meet us! She was a preemie and spent time in the NICU, but she is 7 months old now and the happiest baby you will ever meet.

I do pray that by some random happenstance we are able to conceive our next child “naturally.” But if and when that doesn’t happen, I will be excited to go back to Dr. B and use some of our frozen embryos. It’s been almost a year since my last appointment, and despite infertility and loss being a really painful struggle, I can honestly say that I miss him and his office. I can’t imagine going through all of that with any other doctor. I practically begged him to deliver my baby, and after a 2.5 hour nightmare of a csection I’m sure he’s relieved he never formally agreed to it (although several informal barters were made through email!!). The day that I was able to bring my daughter in and show her off to Dr. B and Sandra felt like a huge victory for us all!

Dr. B gave us our take home baby, the baby we were always meant to have. He always told us the truth and has an amazing way of lightening the dreary mood of infertility, while also giving us hope when we thought there was none. He was always there with his kind heart whenever we needed him, and he is still here today whenever I have a random question he still answers my emails within minutes. I really do feel like he is a part of my family. I can’t count the number of people I’ve recommended see him. He’s not only a genius and an innovator who is willing to think outside the box, but most importantly he is an absolutely genuine and caring person. He will go above and beyond for his patients in a heartbeat. I have never met another doctor, or person for that matter like Dr. B. He is truly one of a kind, and we can’t thank him enough!!